Brighton bars and pubs set for ‘Tap Takeover’ festival

Dead Wax Social Brighton

Nine of the UK’s most exciting breweries are partnering with nine of Brighton’s top bars and pubs to create The Brighton Tap Takeover this weekend.

Each of the breweries will “take over” the taps of their partnered pub from April 8 to 10, making more than 50 craft beers available on draught.

The beer festival is a collaboration between leading Brighton-based bar and pub operator The Laine Pub Company and beer distributor The Beer Collective.

Gavin George, CEO of The Laine Pub Company, said: “It’s a unique way to run a craft beer festival of this size. We wanted to take the beer out of the usual festival venue – the conference centre, town hall and church – and put it in the environment where it tastes the best – the pub.

“I think it’s going to be a joyous experience, wandering the city from pub to pub tasting amazing craft beers from around the country, many of which are created especially for the festival.”

The brewers represent some of the most exciting craft breweries from across the UK including Fourpure, Redchurch and Signature Brew in London, Mad Hatter in Liverpool, Northern Monk in Leeds, Cloudwater in Manchester, The Celt Experience in Caerphilly, nomadic “hobo” brewers Big Hug, and North Laine Brewhouse in Brighton.

Niki Deighton, director of The Beer Collective, added: “It’s so exciting to have all of these amazing brewers in our city for the whole weekend. As well as great beer, each of the brewers will be bringing their own personalities to the party and provide music, food and frivolities all weekend long.”

The hub of the festival is Brighton microbrewery The North Laine Brewhouse which will feature beers from all of the breweries alongside its own. All of the participating pubs are within 10 minutes’ walk.

Entertainment and music will be a big part of the weekend, with Island Records curating a night of music at the North Laine Brewhouse on Saturday. It will showcase the label’s own Island Records Session IPA, created with Two Tribes Brewing and Soundwaves Brewery.

Other key events include Top Of The Hops at vinyl music bar Dead Wax Social (pictured). Each of the brewers has been asked to bring their favourite tracks on vinyl and will be hitting the decks from 11am to 3am on Friday night.

Visitors can buy a special wristband in advance to receive 20% off all beers, all weekend. Each wristband costs £15 and comes pre-loaded with £15 of beer credit, as well as a bag of limited-edition merchandise. They are available from the North Laine’s Brewhouse or via

Participating bars and pubs

The Western
Lending a bit of class and edge to Churchill Square, The Western takes its influence from pop art film posters that the Eastern-Bloc-and-surrounding-countries produce (so much better than Hollywood’s offering), there’s bold colour and a stark industrial feel throughout, even a hint of neon. If you need a break from the beers, these guys know their vodkas inside out.
Cranbourne St, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 2RD

The White Rabbit
You couldn’t get a pub more bang in the heart of the North Laine – it’s amazing anyone gets any shopping done, so tempting is it as you pass on a Saturday. As warm as a pub gets, from the big fire to the welcome you get from the bartenders. Or spill out onto the Kensington Gardens benches after the shops have shut and feel like you own the city.
13-14 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1 4AL

Dead Wax Social
A homage to record shop culture, Dead Wax Social is built around a love of music, and a similar adoration of beer. As DJs play records from the strictly vinyl policy, the clued up bar staff talk customers though the wide range of craft beers on the extensive tap wall. They also have probably the best pizza in town too.
18a Bond St, Brighton and Hove, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1RD

The Black Lion
The Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde of pubs – in the daytime The Black Lion is a fantastic, chilled place to drink great beer and eat amazing food. Then at night the DJs (from pop to indie to New York hip hop legends) step to the decks and it fills up from the dancefloor. If you’re looking for a bit of fresh air, the pods in the yard are the perfect place to hang out.
14 Black Lion St, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1ND

The Mash Tun
Every good party starts at The Mash Tun, and most of them end there too. Those guys refuse to take anything too seriously, except beer of course. If there’s any dancing on tables at Tap Takeover, it’s going to be here – probably from the bar staff.
1 Church St, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1UE

Hope & Ruin
The Hope & Ruin is an Eastern European bar than loves music as much as it loves beer. With its own venue above and a DJ booth cobbled together out of a chunk of wood and a washing machine, your ears will be as happy as your tastebuds. Vegan kebabs are cooked in a caravan.
11-12 Queens Rd, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1 3WA

The North Laine Brewhouse
The home of Brighton brewing right in the heart of the city – The North Laine Brewhouse has its own brewery just behind the bar making it the perfect place to be the hub of The tap Takeover. Big enough to host exciting events, like Island Records’ party, it’s also going to find space to have beers from all of the breweries taking part. Get ready to settle into your second home for the weekend.
27 Gloucester Pl, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1 4AA

The Fountain Head
Classic pub. A perfect hang out in the day time as well as after the sun has set, get yourself around one of the many tables and discuss the burning issues of the day – e.g. which beer you’re going to have next. Great food too, so a great refuelling stop.
101-102 North Road North Laine Brighton BN1 1YE, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1

East Street Tap
The venue formerly known as The Fishbowl reopened on March 3 after being transformed into a New York City-inspired craft beer and food joint.
77 East St, Brighton, The City of Brighton and Hove BN1

Events schedule

Friday night

North Laine Brewhouse
Beer & Burlesque! Plus, pick up your wristbands and brew bags then delve into a rotating selection of beers from all 10 brewers.

Dead Wax Social
Top of the Hops with Fourpure – brewer vs brewer in a vinyl spin-off. 10pm to 3am.

The Western
“Big Love Inn” Festival with Big Hug – eclectic DJs into the early hours.

Hope & Ruin
Indie DJs spin the best of the north…and south, with Northern Monk.

Mash Tun
DJs celebrating the best of Brit Pop, with Cloudwater. From 9pm.


The Western
“Big Love Inn” Festival with Bug Hug – live music and live street art. All day long.

East Street Tap
Beards & Brews, with Two Tribes & Bison Beer. Brighton’s greatest barber “Milo’s” is setting up shop – come and be pampered – with beer! 11am to 4pm.
“Stand up and be Crafted” – live comedy with Comedy Dave and more beer. From 8pm.

Hope & Ruin
Tuaca & Orange Stout launch with Northern Monk. A homage to Brighton’s favourite liqueur – tutored tasting at 1pm.

Hope & Ruin
“Battle of the Bands”, with Northern Monk – Leeds v Brighton. 3pm to 6pm.

The Mash Tun
Sour Beer Tasting at 2pm with Original Gravity editor Daniel Nielson.

The Black Lion
“Beat the Brewer”, with Redchurch: beat the brewer at darts and win a free half pint. From 3pm.

The Victory
“Meet the brewer” with The Celt Experience – come and have a chat and taste with the brewers behind the label. Drop in session from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday. Plus “Beer & Sliders” – special sliders created to match the beers – all day long.

East Street Tap
Sour Beer Tasting @ 4pm on Saturday with Original Gravity editor Daniel Nielson. Plus the launch of Supersonic Saison (8.5% Orange Saison). Partnering Two Tribes and Bison Beer.

North Laine Brewhouse
Island Records Sound System Tap Takeover Party – DJs from the legendary label. 9pm to 2am.

Dead Wax Social
“Viva le Hop”, with Fourpure. Brighton’s favourite beer-obsessed DJs play the night away (expect some beery surprises). From 9pm

Mash Tun
“Hacienda Party”, with Cloudwater – legendary tunes from a legendary club. From 9pm.


East Street Tap
Home Brewers vs Head Brewers in a Pictionary draw-off, with Two Tribes & Bison Beer – from 3pm. Plus live blues.

Dead Wax Social
Waxing Lyrical: Brighton’s greatest music quiz with a one-off beery slant, with Fourpure. From 6pm.

All weekend

North Laine Brewhouse
The Great Beer Mat Photography Exhibition (in association with Miniclick and The Photocopy Club): The winning images on display. Complete your beer mat collection of all eight images by visiting each of the Tap Takeover pubs.

The White Rabbit
“The Mad Hatter’s Garden Party”, with Mad Hatter – garden bar, beer and cake matching and live art. Plus the launch of “A Night Out” a tropical IPA with Mango, Pineapple & Chilli.

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